Big Daddy’s Restaurant
Dish: Jefferson Parish Blackened Gator
Taste Words: Hawt, Dense, Black-Crusted
I am served a spicy-ass skewer of Jefferson Parish Blackened Gator at Big Daddy’s, a Cajun-cuisined homage to New Orleans in Massapequa. The skewer, a lanky meat-rod of alligator, challenges me to grapple. I accept. We grapple amid lavender walls and Venetian masquerade masks. I win and devour its meat attachments.
Named for the cluster of Louisiana suburbs known for alligator-populated wetlands, Jefferson Parish Blackened Gator is a firm chew of steak-like texture and mild meat flavor. Using farm-raised alligator shipped from Florida, Big Daddy’s prepares the six-piece skewer of lean tailmeat by marinating, blackening and coating with an apple-habanero hot sauce.
“Most places in the south will fry alligator and serve it as nuggets or like popcorn chicken,” says Tom Kurtz, manager of Big Daddy’s. “Our gator resembles scaloppini because we pound it thin to tenderize it before pan-frying.”
I complete my Jefferson Parish Blackened Gator and stare contemplatively at the skewer. It is now bare. “Meat the victor,” I say.